After winning five of their last six games, the Los Angeles Angels head to Houston to cap off their road trip with a three-game series against the Astros. In their Opening Week series, the Astros took three out of four from L.A.
The Angels could also be without Mike Trout for a short period of time after he was hit on the left hand during Sunday’s series finale with the Texas Rangers.
Luckily the x-rays showed Trout had avoided serious injury and is considered day to day, but it’s likely the Angels won’t try to rush the best players in MLB back to action. They are still without shortstop David Fletcher, as he remains on the 10-day injured list and should be back soon.
The Angels have taken the top stop in the American League West with a 6-4 record, while the Astros are half a game behind them at 5-4.
Game 1: Monday, 5:10 p.m. PT
The Angels send Michael Lorenzen to the mound in the series opener after an impressive first start of the season when he went six innings, allowed two hits, one earned run, and earned seven strikeouts against the Miami Marlins a week ago.
Lorenzen has said being in the starting rotation with the Angels is like a ‘dream come true’ and being close to home is special to him.
The Astros will counter with Luis Garcia who made a name for himself during the 2021 playoffs. In his only outing this season he went four innings, and only allowed two hits with no earned runs against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Garcia carries a career of 3.20 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP in 171.2 IP.
Game 2: Tuesday, 5:10 p.m. PT
Patrick Sandoval will start the middle game of the series and he will look to build off of his solid performance against Miami in his season debut.
The 25-year-old lefty has recently been given a vote of confidence from general manager Perry Minasian after injuries knocked his 2021 off course.
But against the Marlins, Sandoval kept the game in check with four innings of one-run baseball, while tallying six strikeouts.
Framber Valdez will be making his second start against the Angels after shutting them out for 6.2 innings in the Opening Series.
Valdez has been very good in his short career, but current Angels hitters have posted a collective .833 OPS against the young left-hander.
Game 3: Wednesday, 3:40 p.m. PT
The Angels will have their ace, Shohei Ohtani, on the mound for the getaway game and final matchup of the series.
After taking a loss in his previous two starts, Ohtani definitely wants to shake off the rough six-run outing in only 3.2 IP against the Rangers. On the flip side, he has shown signs of shaking off the rust at the plate after transitioning to a more aggressive approach.
Ohtani’s season line has him with a 7.56 ERA in 8.1 IP, but once he settles into the season and gets past his last outing, that number should trend down to more of what we’ve come to expect from the 2021 AL MVP.
The Astros counter with Jake Odorizzi, who has not had a pleasant start to the 2022 season with six earned over 8.1 IP over two starts.